THE TOP TEN America's Longest Golf Holes
By Laura Castellano

Are you up to par?

It has the makings of a publicity stunt, but having one of the longest golf holes in America is also about pride. Course owners and golf pros are pleased to divulge the yardage of their longest hole, from back tee to cup. And, when asked, most add with a hint of uncertainty, “I think we have the longest hole, right?” and then, reassuringly: “It’s really not as hard as it looks.”

Another slightly comforting piece of information when there is no sign of a flag down the fairway: On most of these holes, you can take one more swing than usual to get your ball onto the green. The USGA guidelines are such that any hole 691 yards and longer from the back tees or 591 and longer from the ladies’ tees can be considered a par 6. If you have never heard of a par 6, you are not alone; there are very few of them in the U.S., but most courses with that kind of yardage take advantage of the extra swing (seven of our top ten are par 6), although some golfers don’t need it...
By Laura Castellano Are you up to par? It has the makings of a publicity stunt, but having one of the longest golf holes in America is also about pride...  more


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Meadow Farms Golf Course

Locust Grove, Virginia
#12, 841 yards, par 6Golfers travel from around the U.S. to play this Guiness World Record holder. “If you build it, they will come,” says golf pro Bill Gillenwater, noting that the length of #12 is mainly a marketing ploy. But measuring in at just under a half-mile long, this hole is just one of the many novelty holes at Meadow Farms. At the 27-hole course you can take a shot from behind a waterfall, onto an island green, or from behind home plate onto what very clearly resembles a baseball field.


Spring Lake Golf Resort

Sebring, Florida
#6, 800 yards, par 6Designers knew no boundaries in Sebring. The course, near Florida’s second largest freshwater lake, Lake Istokpoga, has something for every kind of golfer. If you are a long hitter, a few fairly straight shots on Panther Creek’s longest hole should put you onto the green. And if you are more comfortable with the putter, wait on it. Spring Lake’s second 18-hole course, Cougar Trail, is home to the “world’s largest green,” which is a whopping 42,000 square feet.


The Links Golf Course

Post Falls, Idaho
#9, 777 yards, par 6This course, set on 160 acres of Rathdrum Prairie, opened in 2000. And next year, the LPGA western section championship will take place here. The ladies will play from the front tees, which measure a considerable distance from the cup at 500 yards. “Most people don’t play from the back tees,” said head golf professional, Patti Marquis. This “monster” par 6 is best mastered by driving to the right of the fairway and then hitting left center. The best anyone has shot on this par 6 is a four. “Ours is the longest hole I know of,” she added with a bit of hesitation. Well, at least in Idaho.


Farmstead Golf Links

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
#18, 767 yards, par 6Though Farmstead cannot claim the longest hole on record, they can claim the only dual-state par 6. Tee off in South Carolina and, in a few shots, if you are lucky (or dextrous), your ball will land on the green located in North Carolina. Designers Willard Byrd and Dave Johnson try to make it up to the frustrated golfer with three challenging par 3s on the backside.


Black Mountain Golf Club

Black Mountain, North Carolina
#17, 747 yards, par 6The first nine holes of this 6,215-yard par 71 course were constructed in 1929 and the back nine in 1962. The club’s number 17 is almost 100 yards behind Meadow Farms. But in a small town in western North Carolina, where impressive private courses abound, this public course still prides itself on the fact that they once had the longest hole in the U.S.


Turquoise Valley Golf Course

Naco Arizona
#15, 747 yards, par 6A long fairway meanders to the green, surrounded by desert on either side. From above it resembles a snake crawling through sand, giving it its nickname—“The Rattler.” The longest hole in Arizona consists of a 90-degree dogleg right over (or around) a pond. Most go over the sizable pond. “Professionals” might land an eagle on this one, but an eight or nine should not embarrass a golfer who has never played such a long hole.


The Gallery Golf Club

Marana, Arizona
#9, 725 yards, par 5The longest par 5 in the U.S., The Gallery was designed by John Fought and British Open Champion, Tom Lehman. Two 18-hole courses, North and South, make up this picturesque course that sits among cacti and is surrounded by red canyons. Don’t let the scenery distract you too much—number 9 on the North course is long and treacherous. Although architects say the first shot is “devoid of trouble,” there is room enough downhill on the fairway for five bunkers and a lake.


Ashley Plantation Golf Course

Daleville, Virginia
#14, 721 yards, par 6On this semi-private course outside of Roanoke, number 14 is clearly Ashley Plantation’s signature hole. The first shot will head downhill and the rest are uphill, in elevation and difficulty. With a lake where your tee shot can land and seven bunkers, it’s a true par 6, said member Steven Baker. “Usually I get a five and very rarely a four.”


Promontory Golf Course

Park City, Utah
#3, 720 yards, par 5A par 5 on such a long hole may seem unfair. But this par 5 is designed to be conquered. At 7,000 feet elevation the ball travels 10 percent farther than normal, and even faster downhill. “If you play it from the back it’s a good three shot hole,” said head professional Tom Chipman, who recommends using driver, three wood and then nine iron on the green. The Pete Dye-designed course is set near the Wasatch mountain range and three of Utah’s most popular ski resorts—the Canyons, Park City, and Deer Valley—can be seen from the hole.


Fighting Joe Course at The Shoals

Muscle Shoals, Alabama
#12, 716 yards, par 5 The 8,092-yard course between Wheeler and Wilson Dams on the Tennessee River is currently one of the longest courses in the U.S. It opened in 2004, and has gained attention since as one of the best public courses in the nation. So its long hole is not the only thing that gives them bragging rights. Even so, it is extremely challenging. “When you get closer to the green, it gets more difficult,” says head golf pro Tim King.

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